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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: MARCH 23 – 27

Source : 112 Ukraine

Read about Covid-19, Donbas conflict, annexed Crimea and other news from Ukraine for the week
22:30, 27 March 2020

112 Agency

About Donbas conflict

On Monday, March 23, militants fired at a ZIL-131 truck of the Ukrainian military near the village of Shumy. The press center of the JFO headquarters reports on the page on Facebook. As a result of an anti-tank guided missile getting into the car, two Joint Forces military received injuries, the HQ reported.

The European Union insists on the importance of the unhindered access of the OSCE SMM to areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions uncontrolled by Ukraine as Spokesperson of High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stated. “It is crucial that Russia and the armed formations that it backs allow the OSCE SMM, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and the ICRC freedom of movement across the contact line,” the message said.

15 people were hospitalized with the suspicion for coronavirus in occupied areas of Donbas on March 24. Another 71 people are in quarantine. However, only half of the people were tested for Covid-19 as separatist mass media reported. Later, it appeared that 144 patients with the suspicion for pneumonia were spotted in the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as East Human Rights group reported. The patients appealed to the medics from March 16 up to March 23 but it is impossible to talk about confirmed Covid-19 cases as there are no tests in the hospitals.

About coronavirus 

At the beginning of the week, Ukrainian cargo plane arrived from China, carrying 250,000 tests for Covid-19. It was underlined that polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to detect coronavirus will be delivered to all regions of the country.

On March 25, the Cabinet of Ministers has prolonged a lockdown across the country for 30 days. Besides, the government extended the emergency situation all over Ukraine. Later, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal underlined that Ukraine closes any passenger movement across the border, starting from March 27.

Meanwhile, almost 90 thousand people returned to Ukraine due to the coronavirus epidemic.

On March 27, Deputy Healthcare Minister of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko stated that the mobile units of medics will appear in Ukraine to collect analyses for Covid-19 at home.

Moreover, Google company allocated a $500,000 grant to Ukraine’s Healthcare Ministry for information campaign against panic amid coronavirus spread. These funds will help to put the sources of the Healthcare Ministry to top results of the search.

As of morning March 27, there are 218 laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ukraine. The number of Kyiv citizens sick with Covid-19 increased up to 55 people. Meanwhile, a 39-year-old woman, a native of Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk region, ran away from Kyiv hospital. She had a positive test for coronavirus.

Besides, deputy chairman of the National Police of Ukraine, the head of the Kyiv police, Andriy Kryshchenko was found to have a coronavirus. However, no case of coronavirus spotted in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

About annexed Crimea

This week it was reported that Russian Investigative Committee had opened criminal case against Crimean Tatar Mejlis Head. The Investigative Committee accuses Chubarov of ‘the organization of mass unrest near the building of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea’.

In addition, Putin prohibited Ukrainians from owning land in Russian-annexed Crimea. Ukraine’s MPs ask Cabinet of Ministers to react to ban for Ukrainians on right to own land in Crimea.

In regards to situation with coronavirus in Crimea, the number of people infected with covid-19 in Crimea increased up to seven people. However, over 1,000 people end up in Crimea's hospitals with pneumonia.

About IMF

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and IMF Head Kristalina Georgieva discussed an increase in assistance to Ukraine during the coronavirus epidemic in a telephone conversation. "We have discussed the increase in the amount of Ukraine's support from the Fund in the face of major challenges to the economy, related to the global pandemic," Zelensky said.

Ukraine may receive increased funding of up to 10 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which will include 5.5 billion dollars under a three-year program and 4.5 billion dollars – as assistance in the fight against coronavirus. It was reported by EPravda with reference to the interlocutor at the National Bank of Ukraine

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine submitted to the Verkhovna Rada the bill #3260On amendment of the legislative acts of Ukraine on the improvement of some mechanisms of the regulation of banking business. The adoption of this bill is one of the key demands of the International Monetary Fund and Ukraine has not received the new credit program for $5.5 billion as this demand is not fulfilled.

The IMF notes significant progress in the negotiations on a new EFF program for Ukraine and stresses the adoption of legislation on the improvement of the regulatory structure in the banking sector, as well as on the land reform. 

About sports

Oleksandr Gvozdyk spoke on his loss to Artur Beterbiev. It was the pressure of the Russian fighter that forced Gvozdyk to capitulate. However, the Ukrainian boxer is looking forward to the new challenges in the light-heavyweight division.

IOC postponed the 2020 Olympic Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The competition in Tokyo will be pushed back for a year.

The WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua believes that Dereck Chisora might be a tough test for Oleksandr Usyk. The Briton praised the toughness of his fellow compatriot.

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